Harrison Keevil and his wife, Jennifer, opened Brookville in the summer of 2010 with a goal to provide patrons with as many local ingredients as possible. Their menu proudly states, “The most locally sourced restaurant in Charlottesville, Va. All plates 90-99% sourced within 100 miles.”

As I sit with them at a charming wooden table adorned with mason jars, their 15-monthold daughter scampers around us giggling and pointing towards the pleasantly tall windows that overlook historic Main Street.

Keevil is the executive chef while Jennifer is the front of the house manager. “Our team really believes in what we’re doing,” said Keevil, proudly. The couple’s ultimate goal is for Brookville to become the most locally sourced restaurant in all of Virginia.

Their menu changes almost daily, and the recipes are inspired by what is new and fresh at the market. Jennifer explains, “In the summer, we tend to have a lot of vegetables; and in the winter, dishes can be more meat-centric.”

One of the summer favorites for customers is a “shortstack” of squash pancakes covered in maple syrup. “We take inspiration from Italy, France, Northern California—basically whatever I want to cook and tastes good,” said Keevil.

With every topic I address, Keevil’s deep respect for farms and his desire to give back to the community is apparent. “Farmers do the hard work, and it’s my responsibility to not mess it up. It’s up to me to make their hard work shine through [the food].” When they’re unable to source locally, for such things as salt, the couple purchases the ingredients from small local purveyors in town, so the money still goes back into the community.

Keevil has recently teamed up with Jason Alley, co-owner and executive chef of Comfort and Pasture restaurants, to do experimental gardening on a 5,000 square foot plot of land on a farm in Manakin-Sabot, located between Richmond and Charlottesville.

Keevil still plans to source from his suppliers. He sees this project as a way to experiment with local produce such as old Virginia heritage seeds. “We’ll plant some things to see what works, and see what doesn’t work,” said Jennifer.

From regional markets and farms to experimental gardens, Brookville is strong and true in their efforts to provide fresh, quality local food to the Charlottesville community.

More information about the restaurant can be found at buylocalvirginia.org >>